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More free mediation sessions announced for separating couples 15/08/2014

The Ministry of Justice has announced that more free mediation sessions will be funded by the government, an announcement which has been welcomed by relationship charity Relate.

Recommendations were made by the Mediation Task Force which is an independent body. The government has decided that it will implement some of these recommendations which will include:

  • Funding one single mediation session for everyone if one of the parties is legally aided. Currently only the party benefitting from legal aid can have a free session meaning that the other party has to pay which can often lead to delays or prevent the other party from taking part at all;
  • An advisory group being set up to ensure the focus of mediation is on the best outcome for children involved;
  • Improving the mediation service by reviewing the future Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contracts with mediation providers;
  • Exploring options for reforming the management of the mediation sector;
  • Increasing the existing campaign to increase awareness of mediation and legal help for mediation, including the availability of legal aid for this purpose.

Mediation offers couples an out of court method of making agreements in relation to separation and divorce. Between April 2007 and March 2013 two thirds of couples who entered publicly funded mediation managed to reach agreements. This option avoids much of the conflict associated with a court hearing as well as being faster and more cost-effective. Additionally it can improve communication between the parties which going forward is better for them, particularly if there are children involved.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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Manor Law Ltd, trading as Manor Law Family Solicitors, is a registered company in England and Wales - number 07977350, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Hertford office SRA number 567506 and City of London office SRA number 568637. Copyright © Manor Law, 2016. All rights reserved.

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